Finally have good credit...what's the play?

Hi Leasehackr Community,

I’m new to the forums and I feel like I’ve struck a pot of gold from reading through these comments and threads over the past few days. Unfortunately I’m very green when it comes to negotiating and working deals at car dealerships. I’ll say I’m 28 and finally after being dumb as a kid with 2 cars have pretty decent credit(720ish).

I currently have a 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL with 24k miles on it and it’s in good to great shape with just a few scratches and a scrape on the bumper. I pay 412 a month for this thing which obviously isn’t ideal for a 24k car. My payout is just over 18.5k with VWcredit and just messing around a week ago I checked KBB and a few other places to find out my car is worth between 18 and 20k depending on the estimate. I’ve checked KBB, ALgo, Carvana and a few others.

I’m trying to save as much extra money as I can to buy a house in the next few years down south and as someone who makes 55k a year this is just too much. If I could get some sort of compact SUV for 2-300/month I’d be happy as hell. Do you guys and gals know where the hell I even start? I’ve reached out to a few dealers but it’s always the same. “Come in and get a trade estimate”…“We may be able to help you” …this that and the other thing… I want to go in CONFIDENT and know that I have the power to get the deal I want. Far too many times I’ve gone in and been screwed over. Any help would be really appreciated.

I currently have my eyes on the possibility of a Nissan Kicks, Hyundai Kona, or a Kia Seltos.

Again, thanks so much everyone!

Sounds like you are in good shape with the right priorities (thinking about a house). Did you finance the Jetta? What’s the interest rate?

The absolute cheapest will probably be a refi of the Jetta. If this is a lease you can walk away from without being negative, look at the Marketplace here for Chevy Trax, maybe a Corolla hatch?

It’s a terrible time to lease, if you don’t need a car I’d wait 6 months and check again.

Hi @jeisensc ,

My apologies if I didn’t make it clear, I leased the Jetta. Not only is the money pretty important but I have a 10k/year lease and I might go over my miles by the end of the year depending if my WFH situation changes or not here… I lease through VW Credit… Thank you for the input I might just hold on to it if I can stay WFH.

Don’t do it! I was given one as a loaner, what a terrible vehicle. I can see the appeal of sitting higher while still being compact, but this car actually sits lower than my Leaf and has less cargo room.

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@sosnocor Thank you! Good to know, if I do end up getting a car I’ll definitely keep this in mind. I have 2 dogs so space is very important to me!

I would browse the marketplace, it’s going to come down to your preference, nobody here is driving your car.

Maybe look at a Venza, Tacoma, CX-3/30, Sportage off the top of my head

This is the worst time to lease. The mileage penalty will seem like peanuts vs signing a bad lease now.


2019 VWs have that longer base warranty (7/70?), so the mileage rate is the only concern there, not any warranty issues. One could look at buying out the lease if the math favored over just paying the mileage.

Would purchasing be feasible as you both have made it clear I should most definitely not lease right now lol. I feel like purchasing one of these is almost impossible at under 300 a month though…

As I said earlier though, thanks everyone for taking the time to help me out here. Its really appreciated!

Trying to save as much as you can to buy a house is a great goal. Have you considered riding it out with the VW and then getting a $4k-$5k civic, Corolla, etc to maximize your savings. At least until you fully understand your WFH situation. I don’t see the pot of gold you are referring to, unless it’s the pot you’ll pay for a lease right now.

Hey D,

I’m one of those guys that always has the worst luck with ANYTHING related to big purchases. I’d pay 5k for a car and the engine blows a month later. I prefer the safety net of a new car or something with a warranty.

That pot of gold I’m referring to is the userbase, everyone seems very helpful and I think that’s already showing in this thread too…definitely not my lease payments!

Thanks @max_g ,

Good to know, with what has been said here today I’m probably done looking for a new vehicle until the holiday season deals role around

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Buying out the Jetta is, at 3.99% for 72 months

This Jetta is under warranty another 45k+ miles

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I’ve been lucky I suppose. I have one lease and another I own. I’ll add when I went to buy the our first home we were short a few grand. Not much in the grand scheme of things but for young newly weds, it seemed like a lot. I had two cars so I was able to sell one and cover that gap. Most the time you can’t sell a lease and get a check in your hand. Good luck in whatever you end up doing!

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Since @mllcb42 seems to be asleep at the switch…

You shouldn’t be reaching out to dealers for pricing. Talking to dealers is for finding one to do YOUR deal, not asking them how much they want you to pay. If you ask them for a good deal, you’re going to get a deal that’s good… for the dealer.

Only once you know reasonable numbers backed by recent research should you reach out to dealers to make THEM an offer. You can find these numbers by asking for current RV / MF / incentive information at the Edmunds forums, and searching these forums for recent deals on your chosen vehicle.


Hi @Martin3754 ,

Would I be asking for these numbers on my current car or the car I’m interested in? Thanks for this!

We always recommend the following method before you ever contact a dealership. If you do all of the work up front, you’ll have a stress free dealer experience and set yourself for success.

  1. Read Leasing 101 (Blog | LEASEHACKR) to understand how to calculate a lease payment and the variables. Monthly payment is an output, not an input!!
  2. Pick a specific vehicle that you want to target
  3. Gather the current MF, RV and incentives from Edmunds forums for your zip code
  4. Research the LH marketplace and other deals that have been made recently on your vehicle - what was their pre-incentive discount? How did their lease terms differ?
  5. Plug your numbers into the LH calculator (CALCULATOR | LEASEHACKR), and use a pre-incentive discount similar to what you have seen
  6. Create a target deal, this is what you’re trying to negotiate to. You can try different terms, selling price discount, etc. and see how your monthly payment is affected. It is also possible that different trims of your vehicle may have different MF and RV (i.e. this is very common with GM), so make sure that you look into that. Come up with a set of inputs that give you the output that you want - your desired monthly payment.

With a target price determined, you now have a deal to pursue and compare dealer offers against. More importantly, you have a solid foundation to work from.


Sorry to break it to you, but $200/month is not happening in the current market for the type of car you are looking at.

At the end of the day, buying/leasing cars is a numbers game. What info have you gathered after doing research on this forum? Are there any May deals for compact SUVs in your price range?

See my comment above. What pre-incentive discount is needed to get to your target monthly? Is it realistic in this market?

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He lives!!!

After the comments I just want to let everyone know I’ll be looking at the possibility of refinancing to purchase the vehicle at a lower price per month. It seems like leasing isn’t the best idea according to everyone’s thoughts on the market. I appreciate everyone’s help!

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